CT state troopers are working a lot of overtime, state audit shows

CT State troopers are working a lot of overtime, audit shows
Published: Mar. 23, 2023 at 7:49 PM EDT
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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Connecticut state troopers are working too many hours and you’re paying for the overtime.

“Obviously we recommended in that audit that they hire more troopers,” said John Geragosian, state auditor.

A state audit found $24 million in overtime last year.

Geragosian said a shortage of state police troopers is not only about the overtime but safety.

“It’s not helping anybody who is out there so long. They have to make split second decisions and be rested and in good shape,” said Gerogosian.

At its peak, the state police workforce had 1,200 troopers. That number has dropped to around 900.

“We are always cautious of the hours someone works we have rules in place where a trooper can’t work beyond the 18-hour rule,” said Todd Fedigan, Connecticut State Police Union President.

Fedigan said there’s no question just about everyone is working more hours because they are drastically understaffed.

The better news is that Governor Ned Lamont’s budget includes funding for three additional training classes, which is expected to put 250 more troopers on the roads.

The police contract, which was approved in January, includes raises. In the past, Republicans have opposed raises, but not this year.

“I recognize the burden our state police face particularly because they are significantly undermanned,” said Rep. Holly Cheeseman (R – Niantic).

That graduating class of recruits will be this spring, but the classes are smaller, and it will take time to get adequately staffed.

“I believe the commissioner testified that 1,100 is an ideal number so we are still several hundred off from that,” Fedigan said.

Thirty-three troopers are expected to graduate this spring, and it takes well over a year from background checks to getting out on the road.